Blog posts of '2015' 'November'

Our body posture changes and we reposition frequently throughout the day, depending on our comfort levels or the task we are performing.

If you have a physical disability you may either find it difficult or be unable to change your body posture or position independently. If you use a wheelchair, often the ability to move in and out of a variety of postures while you are sitting is lacking, because of muscle weakness, muscle spasticity, paralysis, poor coordination or balance. As a result of this, you may sit in static, habitual, often asymmetrical postures which can negatively impact on your health, comfort, and ability to function.

Proper positioning has long been recognized as an important consideration when evaluating and recommending seating systems for wheelchairs. However, clinicians are beginning to realize the importance of looking at a person’s posture throughout their 24- hour day.

24 hour positioning  looks at all of the different positions and supportive equipment that a person uses throughout their 24 hour day, and tries to optimize postural alignment as much as possible in all environments, including during sleeping.

An evaluation of your positioning will look at how you are positioned in your wheelchair, in bed and during the daytime when you are out of your chair.  Often during a 24 hours the least time is spent in a wheelchair which has the most postural support.  It is important to look at what postures are happening when not in the wheelchair and whether these are damaging/destructive to proper alignment.

Sleep Positioning is the specific therapeutic positioning of a person’s body during sleep.

Sleep Positioning has three main goals:

• To improve the quality and duration of sleep
• To promote health and maintain safety during sleep
• To prevent or lessen the development of orthopedic deformities




Over 257,000 New Zealander’s are now officially diagnosed with diabetes according to the Virtual Diabetes Register figures recently released by the Ministry of Health.  This makes diabetes one of New Zealand’s largest and fastest growing health issue.  There are still an estimated one in four New Zealander’s who are thought to have pre-diabetes.

Those with diabetes are also at risk of serious health complications such as; heart attack, stroke, kidney and nerve damage and even blindness and no one is immune to diabetes, it can strike at any time, any age, any one. 

This year, World Diabetes Day falls on November 14 and Diabetes NZ is planning “Diabetes Action Month” a publicity driven campaign that involves nationwide activity throughout November 2015.   The two central themes are ‘everyone is at risk of developing diabetes’ and ‘physical activity and healthy food choices can help prevent or delay type 2 and manage type 1’.  Research shows the benefits of 30 minutes a day of physical activity can help people maintain their weight, lower possible heart disease risk and help control blood sugar levels in diabetics along with controlling high blood pressure.

Check out what is happening in your area during Action Month.



Safety is the utmost concern while you are on the road. As arthritis may affect your usual way of driving, you have to be more cautious and avoiding driving too fast. This is to ensure that you can have more time to react to the changing traffic conditions. Below are some considerations and pointers to help driving with arthritis smoothly and safely:

  1. Forgo driving in unfavorable weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow
  2. Choose not to drive on days when experiencing pain and accept ride offers from family or friends. Opt for public transportation where the destination is just a few blocks away from your house.
  3. Exercise caution when making left and right hand turns. Though not a symptom of arthritis, vision aspects are impaired by limited joint mobility in older people. At times, lack of depth perception can also causes accidents from surprise elements because of the slower reactions to these elements. Some of these elements include sudden appearance of other cars, unexpected changing traffic lights or kids on bikes.
  4. Do not rely on only the rear view mirror when changing lanes. Signal your intention early and turn your head to look for traffic approaching from behind or along the side.
  5. In parking buildings, try to find a spot where the vehicle can be parked and start off easily. (Try not to park in small and cramped car parks or on slopes). If walking is not a problem, try to park further away from your destination which is crowded, so that there are fewer pedestrians and cars to worry about when departing.
  6. Drive slowly in a parking building. Stop at every intersection using the appropriate common sense whether a stop sign is posted or not. Watch for drivers going through the parking building instead of up and down the lanes.
  7. Do not drive and use any electronic devices (especially mobile phone) at the same time. This can affect your concentration and failed to react to sudden or unexpected events.
  8. Try to avoid driving in the night as it reduces your visibility especially on raining days. Besides, damp weather causes your joints to be more painful and may ‘miss’ the brake when you need it. If possible, put off the errand to the following or other days. Otherwise, ask for a ride from your relative or friend.

Though driving with arthritis is not easy, it is still possible by introducing changes to your car and the routine of driving. By acknowledging your limitations, practicing road safety awareness and starting off early, you are more likely to feel relaxed and enjoyed your journey. Remember, it is your choice that determines your driving experience a great pleasure or just pain, stress and frustrations.


The Kid Walk is an innovative paediatric dynamic mobility system that affords freedom of exploration while safely supporting the user. Unlike a gait trainer, the Kid Walk has a large mid-wheel configuration that encourages upper-body rotation over the pelvis while allowing upper-extremity freedom. The dynamic action allows lateral weight shift and simulates a natural gait pattern. Kid Walk positioning options provide various levels of support to accommodate maximum freedom in upper extremity movement.

The various wheel configuration and small turning radius allows exceptional manoeuvrability. This is key in affording a child access not only to their home and school environments, but,... encourages exploration that has been proven to enhance their cognitive and social development.

Tool-free adjustability is quick exact and easy making Kid Walk ideal for schools and institutions. Easy to use, one hand height
adjustment mechanism allows quick positive adjustments while the child is in the unit. All positioning options swing away to allow easy placement and positioning of user.

Allows therapeutic adjustment for use in ambulation and therapy oriented activities. Seat and support system move with the client allowing the natural movement of the body while reducing weight and fatigue.